Improving accessibility in Canvas- The Template

To help improve the accessibility and usability of courses in Canvas, we are now applying a default template to all new courses as they are created. This has been applied to all of the new courses for T1 2023/24.

Screenshot of Canvas course template

This will:

  • Help staff meet the new Instructional Design framework
  • Help to promote a consistent look and feel which helps students navigate their courses
  • Prompt staff to include key information and help them work within University policies
  • Promote use of the Modules and Pages areas of Canvas to improve usability (especially for students using the Canvas app)
  • Remove unnecessary menu items from the student view
  • Provide you with a checklist and easy access to guides to help you develop your Canvas course

If this format is not appropriate for your new course i.e. it is not a standard teaching course, you can delete the content you do not need. If your faculty has also used a blueprint, your template might also contain additional aspects. 

Getting Started with the Template

This template is designed to provide the baseline for you to develop your course. Over the coming weeks, we are working with faculties to understand if there are additional aspects they would like to incorporate. However, if you would like to get started here are some steps.

First of all, please complete all the items in the Core Module Information with the appropriate details for your course and publish this module and the items in it.

Next, add the other content you need in your course. If you are copying items from a previous course, please:

  • DO NOT copy All content as this will overwrite the template.
  • Feel free to copy Pages and Files but if you have lots of old content in your course, we recommend clicking the arrow to see the list of everything in your previous course and just selecting the ones you need.
  • If you copy Modules, these will appear below this year’s modules and you will need to drag and drop the content into this year’s modules with the correct date.
  • If you copy Announcements and Discussions, you will need to edit and republish these.
  • Feel free to copy the Syllabus, Quizzes, Question banks and Rubrics if you use these.
  • DO NOT copy Course settings or Assignments (Assignments will normally be set up by your Hub)
  • Remember, you can use the Direct share option to just copy individual items if you find this easier.

If you have any questions about the new template or would like any support in using it, please contact us through

Photo credit: Drew Beamer on Unsplash

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